Meet the co-founder of Betr Remedies, making medication accessible to all, and creating a new standard for healthcare

Betr Remedies is medicine on a mission; a US-based company providing over-the-counter medication with all the same active ingredients as big-name brands, while also addressing the issue of medication access in America. They do this by donating a one-month supply of medication to an American in need, with every single Betr Remedies product they sell.

Reckitt’s purpose-driven venture arm, Access VC, supports Betr’s mission to improve medication access for all. For the past 6 months, our Chief Insights and Analytics Officer, Elaine Rodrigo, has been partnering with co-founder Jen Hoffman to create access to Reckitt’s scale and capability.

Elaine invited us into one of their partnership sessions to hear about Jen’s journey as an entrepreneur, her unique insights into this market and how she’s been partnering with Reckitt to accelerate her growth. ​​​​​​​Here’s what we learned.

Low income families in America face a choice between paying for medicine or not

Healthcare and medication access is a right for everyone in the UK and Canada, but in the US it’s not. The lack of access to medication, especially for low income families, is a huge challenge. 1 in 4 people in the US can’t afford the medication they need. And it’s even worse for low income families where 1 in 2 struggle to afford their medication.

This is causing systemic inequalities, with many people becoming sick, missing work, struggling to pay for childcare and acquiring debt, which is often then passed onto their children.

For every product sold, Betr donates medicine to a person without access

Betr Remedies’ buy-one, give-one model aims to help reduce the estimated $10bn worth of medication disposed of in the US each year. In partnership with non-profit organisation SIRUM they are helping redistribute safe, unexpired medication through a network of charitable pharmacies. Betr has pledged to provide over $1 billion worth of medicine by 2025.

Betr’s co-founders applied their playbook from snacking into the OTC category

Jen’s co-founder, Livio Bisterzo, founded the very popular snack ‘Hippeas’, as well as a number of other better for you, socially conscious brands, through Greenpark Brands. Leveraging key insights and the playbook, Jen and Livio have used this model to inspire how they designed the business model for Betr Remedies.

Betr’s social impact has enabled them to engage with influencers they wouldn’t usually be able to afford at their size

Betr’s model is targeting progressive consumers, who resonate with brands like Patagonia, Toms and other social give-back programmes. Often because of the social cause work Betr is doing, people promote and share the brand because they like what Betr stands for and want others to know about it. Betr sees a lot of organic vs. paid interest because of the good work they are doing behind the brand.

Ellen Pompeo partnered with Betr because of the shared interest in addressing healthcare inequity.

Ellen is an activist when it comes to equitable medical access, working closely with nurses and medical officers to bring them into underprivileged communities. Ellen brings real authenticity to the brand, bringing insights and context from the medical community which focuses Betr’s give-back programme into the right places.

Reckitt helps Betr to access the scale and capability of a global CPG

As an early brand with minimal exposure, Betr dosn’t have the luxury of big budgets just yet. Therefore, Elaine has been helping Betr to navigate the different capabilities at Reckitt, starting with access to our huge database of consumer insights and category trends to inform their go to market strategy. Alongside this, they’ve benefited from bespoke user research and testing to understand the unboxing experience and inform the design of their D2C packaging and messaging.

Betr were also able to access shopper and category market data and analysis, which has been especially helpful when pitching to retailers like Walmart. And since an exclusive contract with Walmart, Betr have worked closely with Reckitt’s retail team to develop their strategy for in-store messaging, packaging, in-store tactics and pricing. You can read more about their recent launch into stores here!

Founders are always teaching us something new.

Through Access VC, we are proud to support, work with and learn from so many amazing founders.

Jennifer shared some incredible insights into how to run an effective, focused startup with a big mission, and we felt it was only right to share some of our takeaways with you.

But Jennifer isn’t the only founder we’re learning from. We’re running regular talks with some brilliant founders from the Access VC portfolio, so stay tuned in for more leadership and start-up lessons soon.

And if you’re curious to learn more about this incredible company and their mission for equitability, about Betr Remedies, head to the Betr Remedies website their website or Instagram to dive deeper into who we think will be one of the biggest healthcare disruptors of the century.

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